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First Mars, little detail, 1-19-10

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#1 jayscheuerle



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Posted 20 January 2010 - 07:20 AM

Well... This was my first time having the scope out since Jupe season, and I must say, Mars is a toughie. Being the weenie that I am, the temperature had to be close to 40° last night for me to get outside (it's been in the 20s). The warmer temps were related to the poor seeing, and there were a bit of clouds, but I think my greatest problem is that I need to learn to see Mars better. I couldn't pick out any central detail, and besides the ice-cap, I wasn't sure of much else. I kept waiting for it, just no luck. Perhaps a filter would help?

This was a digital sketch, done by notes next to a rather bland drawing. This was through my 120ED and the mag was a pushed 450x, otherwise it was too small to see anything. - j

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#2 markseibold


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Posted 20 January 2010 - 09:36 AM


It is a beautiful display piece of art you have made if anything! :bow: :bow: :bow:

That black frame with the lettering and the soft fogged-like image of Mars reminds me of a great motion film opening picture. Maybe it is time that someone makes a great motion film about astronomers; maybe sketching? The purpose, the meaning of the seeing, the art, etc.

Your rendering looks close to what I saw a week ago through poor seeing. Only the north polar cap through my 10.1 inch f/4.5 Dobsonian. This is not a favorable approach for Mars, only high on the zenith as Jeremy mentioned the other day. I use a very old Orion Sky Glow Filter that has a band pass to block the orange sodium streetlights in most neighborhoods but it does not discolor Mars. It allows the red-orange surface areas to appear as a peach-orange and the darker albedo regions look like a soft green-grey. The polar caps still come through as white and the filter seems to help render the blue limb hazes near the poles at times.

Have you tried your 12 inch Dobsonian yet? You will eventually have a night of steady seeing and get in some Mars surface features.

I look forwrd to seeing your future observations and sketches of Mars.


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#3 frank5817



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Posted 20 January 2010 - 10:22 AM


This is wonderful work. I think you were thwarted by poor seeing. With Mars so very bright and the disk so much smaller than say Jupiter it may have helped to use a filter. Regardless, it is a superb sketch and an accurate rendition of what you saw which the essence of an eyepiece sketch is. :bow:

Frank :)

#4 niteskystargazer



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Posted 20 January 2010 - 12:50 PM


Nice sketch :waytogo:.



#5 mikesemmler



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Posted 20 January 2010 - 01:26 PM

Jay - congratulation - a really good scetch


#6 CarlosEH


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Posted 20 January 2010 - 01:31 PM


An excellent observation of Mars. You would have seen more if your seeing was better, but you picked out the North Polar Cap (NPC) dark collar very nicely. Thank you for sharing it with us all.


#7 Tommy5



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Posted 20 January 2010 - 09:42 PM

Very cool Mars sketch, very realistic

#8 Sol Robbins

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 12:29 PM


Mars is very bright and emits a lot of irradiated light. Any air particulates could also increase light scatter. That's just one reason folks use filters. Even when looking at bright stars, filters can make star images appear smaller and tighter.

Mars can be diffcult even with great conditions because of the above reason.


#9 Jeff Young

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 02:30 PM

Jay --

More time viewing will certainly help. Another thing to try is a binoviewer -- dims the image and gives you binocular summation (ie: makes it easier for the brain to process the signals coming from the eyes).

Still a great sketch, though. :waytogo:

-- Jeff.

#10 Jeff Young

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 02:34 PM

Oh, almost forgot: ambient lighting will help too. Turn the observatory lights on a little bit, or get the neighbor to put their security light on, or view at twilight, etc.

Pretty counter-intuitive for us deep-sky folks, but it does help on the planets.

-- Jeff.

#11 jayscheuerle



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Posted 21 January 2010 - 03:34 PM

Jeff, I live in a white zone. I can read the legal print in my scope's manual without extra light... :p

One thing NOT to do– Don't stare at the streetlight in hopes of killing your night vision. Then you end up with a big white dot floating in front of your head, wherever you look... :D

I'd like to try a binoviewer, but I have an astigmatism in my right eye and don't like wearing glasses while viewing. - j

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